Friday, January 23, 2004

The Stewart Verdict: It’s ‘In the Bag’:


By now, the entire world knows that Martha Stewart was proudly toting her prized chocolate brown Hermes Birkin bag to court this past week. The woman is certainly consistent- she accessorized similarly during her initial court appearances months ago, when it first became clear that everyone would be fixated on what this household icon decides to wear, and that there would be much speculation on the symbolism behind her choice of outfit, accessories, and chosen color scheme.

This ‘pressing’ matter was even the subject of Clyde Haberman’s ‘NYC’ column in the New York Times, where he quoted fashion experts who tried to give insight into the power of style and color and the way in which image can help or hinder- particularly in the courtroom. In general, most would agree that Ms. Stewart, with her intelligently chic, understated, and subdued clothing (smart charcoal coat, tailored brown pantsuit, high heeled brown boots, classic bag) went for just the right touch- looking very professional and pulled together but not flashy, flamboyant, or fashion victim-y (which she is not). And no, I don’t think that the ‘average’ juror would necessarily look at her brown leather bag and even dream that it was worth $6- $12,000- depending on which sources you believe).

Oh, and by the way, speaking of Hermes, according to WWD, the famed French luggage house has just come out with a limited edition MetroCard holder for $150- the perfect accessory for Ms. Stewart to put inside her Birkin bag as she makes her way to the subway (yeah, right!) on her long treks down to Foley Square. It is being sold at their Madison Avenue store in conjunction with a photographic exhibition, “Bruce Davidson: Subway”. On view from through February 28th, it coincides with the 100th anniversary of the New York subway system.

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